The restoration work of Markandeshwar temple in Maharashtra by the Archaeological Survey of India is in full swing.
About the temple:
- Known as the “Khajuraho of Vidarbha”, the temple of Markandadeo is situated on the bank of River Wainganga in district Gadchiroli of Maharashtra.
- The temple belongs to the Nagara group of temples of North India.
- It gets its name from the main temple dedicated to Lord Shiva called Markandeshwar.
- The temple belongs to saiva, vaishnava and sakta faith.
- This temple has many tantrik images dedicated to the Shaivite cult.
- There are many intricate idols (murtis) on the outer walls of this temple complex.
- On stylistic grounds, its date ranges in between 9- 12th centuries CE.
- It has a simple plan, with ardhamandapa, mandapa, antaralaand garbhagriha forming the component of the entire set up.
- The most striking feature of this temple is the large scale destruction caused on the main shrine (garbhagriha) by lightning which led to the partial collapse of the shikhara (the finial, north and south facade).
- The then Gond Ruler renovated the temple about 120 years ago, trying to restore the fallen portions as much as possible. This restoration attempt was however not as per the modern conservation standards.
- The Archaeological Survey of India initiated the large scale conservation work of this temple since November 2017.